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Spring Rasputitsa 1941


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#1 phylo_roadking

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 12:35 AM

Does anyone know the dates that the longer and heavier than normal SPRING Rasputitsa of 1941 began and ended? The one that made the Bug River burst its banks, and contributed to BARBAROSSA being delayed for a month?

"Et Dick tracy, il est mort? Et Guy LeClair?"


#2 Sloniksp

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 05:53 AM

Hello Phylo,

Rasputista in Russia occurs twice anually and usually around the same time year after year. The first in the Spring when the ice and snow melt and later from the Autum rains. To my knowlede though; what delayed German plans for Barbarossa by a month was her allies inability to take care of Greece, the Balkans too had to go... The second Rasputista, played her part. The Germans advanced slower then they had in December.

Late July to mid Sept. would be my guess? I will try to see if I can locate something more precise.
The war against Russia will be such that it cannot be conducted in a knightly fashion. This struggle is one of ideologies and racial differences and will have to be conducted with unprecedented, unmerciful and unrelenting harshness. -Adolf Hitler


#3 LJAd

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 06:54 AM

The Austrian author H.Magenheimer writes the following in "Hitler's War" (P 83):
What mitigated against a theoretical invasion at the end of May or in early June was the fact that many rivers in the western Soviet Union which would have to be crossed in the course of the attack, including the Bug and the Narew, were still in flood until well into June and would therefore have presented a very disagreeable obstruction .For this reason alone,an attack after 10 june appeared to be the only realistic possibility .
Magenheimer gives the following source:
Zapantis:"Hitler's Balkan Campaign,P 86 et seq.

#4 LJAd

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 07:22 AM

I have found the following on Hyper War:Moscow to Stalingrad:decision in the East:Chapter IX:the Clinch P 176
In normal years the thaw could be depended upon to begin in about the third week of March at the latitude of Moscow,a week or two earlier in the Ukraine, and at least a week later in the North .
The whole thing would take some six weeks .
Sadly enough,there is nothing on when the Rasputitsa would start/finish on the western border .

#5 phylo_roadking

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Posted 18 September 2011 - 01:13 PM

All, thanks so far for the above.

It seems the Spring Thaw started "late" in 1941, same as it did in 1940 in Northern latitudes - for the years 1940-43 saw a La Nina event, with the Jet Stream moving south and allowing the Polar Spiral to hose cold air down from above the Arctic Circle all over Northern Europe; it's what had led to the eight weeks' late thaw in Norway the year before.

(Conversely, North America saw record HIGH temperatures that Spring, with a very small number of vessels making it through the so-called "North West Passage"!)

The Spring Rasputitsa is also a fortnight longer than the Autumn's 4-5 weeks average, because it STARTS with a huge amount of water already present in the form of snow and ice! It doesn't depend on it falling out of the sky as rain in late September/early October LOL

Still, the search is still on for the dates of the Spring 1941 event...

"Et Dick tracy, il est mort? Et Guy LeClair?"


#6 phylo_roadking

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 09:22 PM

All, for those interested I've been given some enlightening details elsewhere...from Andrew Zapantis

At Wlodawa (a town circa 60 kilometers south of Brest on the Soviet-Polish border), following the March 3 thaw of the ice, the level of the water of the Bug rose and it was high on March 5. After this, by April 2 the water level dropped considerably; however, on April 23 it began to rise again and attained a very high level on May 5 after which the river's water level began to decrease gradually. The monthly maximum levels (not the monthly mean levels however) were flood levels, but not very unusual ones because such floods occur in that area evera four or five years; the damage, if any, was probably not very serious.

At Frankopol (situated north of the city of Sokolow Podlaski which is some 75 kilometers northeast of Warsaw and about 100 kilometers west of Brest) high water levels occurred in March, April and May; and the monthly maximum levels in March and then in the beginning of May (the maximum value was reached on May 7) were flood levels.

Since the thaw began on March 3 and the rainfall in the areas of Warsaw, Wyszkow, Koden (only approximately 36 kilometers from Wlodawa) and Zamosc-Mokre was not heavy the question was asked as to what may have caused the high water levels at Wlodawa and Frankopol. In response the Instytut stated that (regarding Wlodawa and Frankopol) rainfall data for the period in question practically do not exist; one may guess that the rain in the tributary areas must have been sufficient enough to cause such high spring water levels.

It thus appears that the statement made by Guderian that there were floods in the beginning of May seems to be fairly accurate at least on the basis of evidence at Wlodawa. The claim that the floods lasted until June 1941 does not seem to be accurate on the basis of the data quoted

.

I'm not sure about the last question - for the important thing is what the prospect seemed to be when the decision to delay BARBAROSSA was made.

BUT - we now have a start date....and an interesting little piece of information that fopr some reason (records incomplete/nonexistent) there were TWO, and possibly THREE major periods of flooding during the Spring Thaw....

"...following the March 3 thaw of the ice, the level of the water of the Bug rose and it was high on March 5. After this, by April 2 the water level dropped considerably; however, on April 23 it began to rise again and attained a very high level on May 5 after which the river's water level began to decrease gradually.

At Frankopol (situated north of the city of Sokolow Podlaski which is some 75 kilometers northeast of Warsaw and about 100 kilometers west of Brest) high water levels occurred in March, April and May; and the monthly maximum levels in March and then in the beginning of May (the maximum value was reached on May 7) were flood levels."

...and the final one in May was high enough to constitute a flood.

The Rasputitsa ALSO seems to have lasted longer than the normal ~6 weeks - if it began on the 3rd of March, and wasn't winding down again until AFTER May 5th-7th! That's over eight weeks....

"Et Dick tracy, il est mort? Et Guy LeClair?"


#7 steverodgers801

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Posted 20 September 2011 - 04:16 AM

The Germans did not need the troops used in Greece to start the invasion. There were enough to begin if the Germans had wanted to.

#8 Sloniksp

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 06:56 AM

The Germans did not need the troops used in Greece to start the invasion. There were enough to begin if the Germans had wanted to.


On paper it would seem so (German paper :)).

Others on this forum tend tend disagree, they count every possible available sole and then blame logistics and Hitler...:rolleyes: ;)
The war against Russia will be such that it cannot be conducted in a knightly fashion. This struggle is one of ideologies and racial differences and will have to be conducted with unprecedented, unmerciful and unrelenting harshness. -Adolf Hitler





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